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Italy : legal resources: Cases

Constitutional case law

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C.A. or C.App. abbreviation used to cite court of appeal cases, usually followed by the city in which the court sits in ( )

Cass. abbreviation used to cite Court of Cassation cases

Massime - case abstracts

Repertori - digests

Giurisprudenza: Case law

[For the Constitutional Court please click on the Constitution tab above]

In Italy, the decisions of the courts are not a source of law: the decision binds only the parties to the case.

Nor are courts bound by a rule of precedent.

On the role of the Court of Cassation in ensuring uniformity see Legislative Decree 2006, No. 40.

A feature of Italian case law reporting is the "massimario" - which publishes - usually monthly, cumulated annually - the "massime" (the maxims/principles) underlying the decisions of Corte de Cassazione. The maxims themselves are produced by the Ufficio del massimario of the Corte.

Printed resources

Please note, the Law Bod no longer has any active subscription to periodicals of Italian case law in print. For cases decided since 2005  use one of the Electronic resources listed below.

Il Foro italiano : raccolta generale di giurisprudenza civile, commerciale, penale, amministrativa 
v.1(1876)-v.69(1944/1946) are in the secondary collection
v.70(1947)-v.117(1994) are in the current collection at Italy 100 F727

Il Massimario del Foro italiano. v.1(1930)-v.72(2003) Italy 100 F728

Il Repertorio del Foro italiano (1947)-(2003) Italy 100 F729

Giustizia civile rivista mensile di giurisprudenza v.1(1953)-v.55(2005) Italy 100 G53

Giustizia civile Massimario annotato della cassazione v.5(1955)-v.44(2005) Italy 100 G54



Case law in Italy

Italian court structure: civil, criminal & administrative law

The highest court is the Corte di Cassazione, located in Rome. It has three sezioni

  • civil law
  • criminal law
  • labour law

For particularly difficult cases it can sit “a sezioni unite.”

It hears appeals on issues of law coming from the second-instance courts (see below) and also decides questions on judicial procedure.

Courts of Second Instance

Corte di appello: hears appeals from the Courts of First Instance, enforcement of foreign decisions, some competition matters. Like the Corte di Cassazione it has 3 sections civil, criminal and labour law

Corte d’assise d’appello: as its name indicates, hears appeals from the Corte d’Assise (criminal law).

Courts of First Instance

Tribunale: general court of first instance (both civil and criminal), but can also hear appeals against the decisions of the Giudice di Pace.

Giudice di Pace: minor cases.

Tribunale per i minorenni: juvenile (under 18) court, hearing both civil and criminal cases.

Corte d’assise:  criminal cases

Administrative law

Consiglio di Stato (Council of State) appeal court for administrative matters

Tribunali Amministrativi Regionali – TAR

Public Accounts & Tax

Corte dei Conti (State Auditors' Department)

Commissioni Tributarie Provinciali

Commissioni Tributarie Distrettuali